Deploy Orthanc on a PC in 38 seconds

03/06/2016 | Thibault Nélis | comments

Orthanc is a powerful piece of software, allowing you to ingest, store, route and easily visualize DICOM images. It is open source, lightweight, customizable and extensible.

This article will guide you through your first steps toward discovering Orthanc and what it can do.

Step 1: Download Orthanc

Osimis distributes pre-packaged versions of Orthanc with an advanced web viewer. Visit the Osimis download page and select the 32-bit or 64-bit version for Windows.

Tip: To determine the architecture of your computer (32-bit vs 64-bit), refer to this quick guide. Modern computers typically use a 64-bit processor.

Step 2: Install Orthanc

Open the downloaded zip file and extract its contents in a folder by selecting Extract then Extract all.

Choose a folder for Orthanc and click Extract.

Tip: For a more permanent setup, you may want to extract it in the Program Files directory.

Note: By default Orthanc doesn't touch any files outside of that folder.

Step 3: Start Orthanc

Double-click the startOrthanc file in the extracted folder.

Note: A Windows SmartScreen might appear. If you trust your network and Osimis, click on "More info" and "Run" to continue.

The Orthanc console will appear, confirming that Orthanc is now started. Simply close this window when you want to stop it.

Tip: Use the console to peek at what happens behind the scenes. For example, you can verify that Orthanc correctly uses your custom settings (see below).

Step 4: Upload your first image

Visit http://localhost:8042 using your favorite web browser and click Upload. You may now drag DICOM images in the window.

Tip: You can drag multiple images at once.

Tip: Download sample images here. For example, an MRI scan and a CT scan. Make sure you extract the images first.

When you're done, click Start the upload.

The images are now stored by Orthanc. Go back to the Patients screen and explore.


We've seen how to download, set up, start and access an Orthanc instance on Windows. We've also uploaded some images, explored their metadata and visualized them using the Osimis Web Viewer. You are now ready to learn how to fully leverage Orthanc.

Want more goodness?

Customize Orthanc

By editing its configuration file, configWin.json, with a text editor (e.g. notepad) you can customize the configuration of your Orthanc instance.

Among others, here are some options you can set up:

  • Connect modalities and other Orthanc instances (DicomModalities, OrthancPeers).
  • Add more features through the activation of plugins (Plugins). The default configuration in the Osimis package includes the Osimis Web Viewer.
  • Set the DICOM Application Entity Title for the DICOM server embedded in Orthanc (DicomAet).
  • Tweak the accepted transfer syntaxes for the Orthanc C-Store Service Class Provider. You can choose among the following formats: JPIP, JPEG Lossless, JPEG2000, JPEG, RLE, DEFLATED.
  • Specify where to store the raw DICOM files and Orthanc's own data (StorageDirectory, IndexDirectory).
  • Compress images transparently (StorageCompression).
  • Limit the maximum storage space or the maximum number of patients (MaximumStorageSize, MaximumPatientCount), which are unlimited by default.
  • Extend functionality with custom Lua scripts (LuaScripts). For example, set up automated rules to send or receive series from your Orthanc instance to another DICOM node.
  • Disable or tweak access to the web interface (HttpServerEnabled, HttpPort, HttpDescribeErrors, HttpCompressionEnabled, RemoteAccessAllowed, SslEnabled, SslCertificate, AuthenticationEnabled, RegisteredUsers). For example, restricting access to some users with passwords.
  • Change the default character encoding for DICOM files that don't declare it (DefaultEncoding).
Category : How to
Tags : Orthanc

Osimis team thibaultn

Thibault Nélis

With a strong development background, Thibault understands what coders need to efficiently carry out their goals. As the devops of the team, he manages the full integration and deployment pipeline to make internal workflows painless, to catch bugs as early as possible and to ensure applications run smoothly. Nothing is ever off-topic with Thibault, no level of detail is too frightening, and no feedback loop is short enough. Except when it's time to grab a trappist beer. Or maybe even then.